We had a great opening week of football! Before we move ahead though, lets take a look back at how my overrated teams fared this past weekend. My overrated teams (teams that I thought were ranked higher than they should have been) from week #1 were Michigan, West Virginia, and Stanford.
Michigan showed that the Big Ten’s best are just not able to compete with the SEC’s best, at least on a national stage. The Wolverines were dominated in nearly every aspect of the game. As I had predicted, Alabama was going to try and make Denard Robinson one-dimensional, and they did!
West Virginia pounded an outmatched Marshall team. The Mountaineers still face the hardest part of their season, as the Big 12 part of their schedule starts at the end of September. Don’t look for Geno Smith and company to stumble until then. They play James Madison and Maryland in their next two games, after a bye this week.
Stanford was lucky (no pun intended) to come away with a victory against San Jose State. It took a 4th quarter field goal to stave off the pesky Spartans. RB Stepfan Taylor gave his usual dominating performance, but QB Josh Nunes is going to have to get comfortable a lot quicker if the Cardinal are going to be a player in the Pac-12 North.
My underrated teams (teams that were ranked lower than I thought they should have been) for week #1 were Notre Dame and Georgia Tech.
The Fighting Irish dismantled an overmatched Navy squad. They did so without many of their best players, too. QB Tommy Rees, RB Cierre Wood, and LB Carlo Calabrese were all suspended for this matchup, and the Irish still had no problem with Navy. We will find out about Notre Dame in the coming weeks. They host Purdue this weekend, which will not be as easy as some may initally think, then they go to Michigan State and host Michigan to close out September. If Notre Dame can win 2 of 3 remaining games in September, they could be primed for a good season this year.
Georgia Tech’s defense really impressed me on Monday night even though they came up a FG short in OT. They were able to limit what QB Logan Thomas was able to do, and the amount of time with which he had to do it. Obviously losing the game the way they did will hurt, but the Yellow Jackets now have a schedule that is manageable. This coming weekend they play Presbyterian, then they host Virginia, Miami (FL), and Middle Tennessee to close out September. I still see this team as having Top-25 potential.
OK, now that we took a quick look back, why don’t we look ahead at some teams that are overrated/underrated for week #2 of the college football slate.
LSU (#3 – AP/USA Today Polls). I really do not want to make too much of a habit of bashing the top rated teams until at least week #8, when the BCS polls are out. But I do think, however, that LSU could be rated higher than they should be at this point. At some point the lack of an established quarterback is going to catch up with them.
The SEC West, with teams like Arkansas and Alabama, will be challenging enough to play, but to do so without an experienced QB (Zach Mettenberger) is going to be even more treacherous. Hopefully for Tigers fans, he will continue to improve each and every week.
Look for LSU to continue their winning ways against Washington and Idaho, but LSU faithful had better be carfeul as they make the trek to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama the week of September 22. I am not predicting an upset, but I do think it will be a stiff test for LSU.
Where Should they Be Ranked? I would have them ranked #4. I think Oregon is a little ahead of LSU at this point.
Texas (#17 – AP / #15 USA Today Polls). This is another team, like LSU, that should be able to roll in their next couple of games. I think this will only inflate an already overinflated ranking. The Longhorns showed that they have some flaws that they are going to need to correct if they are going to challenge the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, or West Virginia for the Big 12 crown.
Last Saturday they struggled in the first half with Wyoming before pulling away after recess. Coming out flat in your opening game, especially at home, is not a good way for Mack Brown to show the Longhorn faithful that they are ready to challenge for national prominance.
To be sure, Texas has a lot of potential, and they have a 4-headed monster running the ball including QB David Ash, but they don’t seem to possess the consistency needed to beat the upper echelon teams. Texas will get their chance to prove me wrong when they play, in consecutive weeks, at Oklahoma State (Sept 29), vs West Virginia (Oct. 6), and vs Oklahoma in the Red River Rivalry (Oct. 13). By the time they play Oklahoma State, Texas will most likely be in the top-15 of both polls. I just think that is too high!
Where Should They Be Ranked? I think the AP poll, at #17, has them right about where they should be ranked.
TCU (#20 – AP / #17 USA Today Polls). The last half-decade, Gary Patterson has kept the TCU Horned Frogs in the discussion as one of the nation’s premier non-automatic BCS qualifying schools. Now, he has them in the Big 12, and everyone is going to see what they are made of. The Horned Frogs did not play in week #1, but they will face a stiff test on Sept. 15 when they play in Lawrence, KS against Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks of Kansas.
The TCU offense is definitely going to be the real deal. They return 5 starters from the 2011 squad including QB Casey Pachall, RBs Waymon James and Matthew Tucker, and WRs Josh Boyce and Skye Dawson. TCU may be able to score points in bunches, but they also have to keep the opponents from scoring too. The defense returns 5 starters from last year’s team, but they are predominantly on the defensive line. They lost most of their LB corps and secondary with the exception of DB Jason Verrett.
For me though, I look at the end of the TCU schedule. They may play the toughest schedule to end the year of any D-1 team in the country. TCU ends the year with at Oklahoma State (Oct. 27), at West Virginia (Nov. 3), vs Kansas State (Nov. 10), at Texas (Nov. 24), and vs Oklahoma (Dec. 1). All of those teams are currently ranked in the top-25 this week. What brutal end-of-the-year schedule! If the Horned Frogs can run the slate, there will be no question they are a top-10 team. Look for them to lose at least 2 of those games.
Where Should They Be Ranked? This is a very potent Horned Frog Team, but I don’t know if they have the defensive ability to keep from losing at least 2-3 games this year. I would rank them at #22.